A £250,000 project to help people in a town ahead of changes to benefits and services has got under way.
The Gosport Area Information Network (GAIN) scheme was officially launched in the town yesterday.
It was set up with Big Lottery funding and will try and plug the gaps between services in Gosport.
Groups such as Gosport Voluntary Action and Citizens’ Advice Bureau are involved in the network.
Angela Gill is the project manager at GAIN.
She said: ‘The idea is to have a network of quality assured organisations.
‘Some projects do not like to signpost to others because they don’t know if they’re doing a good job.
‘There’s anecdotal evidence of mis-referral going on.
‘Customers who go to any GAIN partner only tell their stories once.’
She added that the scheme will also work to provide services in a better way if some are cut due to funding.
‘If services are reduced or cut the aim is then that we work more closely together to plug the gaps,’ she said.
The launch yesterday at Explosion Museum, in Priddy’s Hard, Gosport, saw more than 80 members of different organisations attend to find out more.
Part of the scheme will teach people to use computers so they can access Universal Credit, which is the new benefit system due to come into force under the Coalition government.
Other areas the project will look at include employment, housing, debt and money, welfare benefits and health.
Age Concern Gosport, Cedar Oak, the Wheatsheaf Trust, Gosport Discovery Centre and St Vincent College belong to the group.
A survey has been sent out to 1,600 people to get their opinions on services in the town.
The group is also looking for volunteers to help with digital workshops, money management workshops, events and more.
Contact Angela on (023) 9258 8035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org